In a post-primary speech in Milwaukee last night, Rep. Paul Ryan said this of President Obama (the clumsy wording is his):
I seem to remember him saying that he was going to be a uniter, not a divider. Frankly this is one and the worst of his broken promises. We do not need a campaigner-in-chief, we need a commander-in-chief. We we need a leader that America deserves.
The presidency is bigger than this. He was supposed to be bigger than this. We need solutions, not excuses. We need a president who takes the lead in not one that spreads the blame. We need someone who appeals to our dreams and aspirations, not to our fears and anxieties. We as Americans deserved to choose what kind of country we want and what kind of people we want to be.
There are several fundamental problems with Ryan’s lament.
First of all, it was George W. Bush, not Barack Obama, who famously promised to be a uniter, not a divider.
More to the point, however, is that Ryan’s complaint was silly and hypocritical in a broader sense. It was prompted, no doubt, by a speech Obama delivered earlier in the day in which he roundly criticized Ryan’s recent budget proposal and faulted Mitt Romney for supporting it.
Ryan seems to think that he and his fellow Republicans have every right to criticize Obama’s policies and pronouncements in the strongest of terms — and they do, in fact, have that right — but Obama has no right to fight back. Ryan thinks he should be free to knock Obama’s political agenda, but the president should not be free to return the fire. To do so, Ryan avers, is to be a divider, not a uniter.
This guy seems to have studied politics in a nursery school. He thinks it’s undignified of a president to make partisan political remarks in an election year. He says such offenses make the president the “campaigner-in-chief” — egads! — as if an incumbent president has no right to campaign for re-election and no right to fight back against the invective peddled by his opponents.
What a silly little crybaby Paul Ryan is!